Matt Halliday is a charity fundraising consultant from Bradford. He moved to Edinburgh in January 2017 after selling his business, Bradford Brewery

MAY 25, 2018, will be remembered by many as the launch of the Growth Commission report and possibly the official launch of the indyref2 campaign. For me it will be remembered as the day that I officially ended my 16-year love affair with the Labour Party.

I was 11 years old when Tony Blair came to power and I benefited from many of the brilliant social mobility initiatives that his team developed.

I was a direct beneficiary of my local Sure Start Centre. My mum let me go to college at 16 rather than get a job because she received tax credits. I received £30 a week Education Maintenance Allowance, and when I was the first in my family to go to university, I received grants towards my fees and accommodation. I joined the Labour Party at 18 following an emotive speech by my wonderful Labour MP, Ann Cryer. It was Ann that made me realise that all of the above was only possible because of Labour.

The older I became, the more I got into politics. I remember pounding the streets of London giving out Labour flyers on the eve of Ken Livingstone’s ill-fated campaign, and celebrating in the street when Chuka Umuna won my London constituency.

I moved back to my home town of Bradford a few years ago to launch a business. George Galloway and his merry men had set up camp and his divisive politics were ruining the city. I quickly joined the local Labour Party campaign and we installed the brilliant Naz Shah in his seat, sending George on his way. The campaign was positive, exciting and was built on a sense of hope – everything I’d loved about the Labour Party.

I moved to Scotland last year after selling my business and initially joined my local Labour branch. I met some lovely people but I didn’t feel they were “my Labour”. Watching and reading Scottish politics, I began to question if there was any difference between Scottish Labour and the Scottish Tories.

Despite being a fellow Yorkshireman, Richard Leonard doesn’t give me any of the sense of positivity or hope that I’ve been used to when campaigning for Labour.

I don’t know what Scottish Labour stand for other than standing next to Ruth Davidson saying “SNP bad”, or whatever is in his morning memo from his boss JC.

I’ve been really impressed with the SNP since I moved here. Whatever your views about independence you cannot deny that the SNP gives messages of hope and aspiration for Scotland. All I hear from Labour is how dire they think Scotland is.

I read the Growth Commission report and it got me excited again. It was a real turning point.

Reading it made me realise that the SNP’s vision for Scotland, and the type of politics they use to try and achieve that vision, is the politics that I want to be involved in.

I joined the SNP on May 25th, 2018. Leaving Labour was a really tough decision but I feel excited again.